January 2, 2017

STARTER PACK - EUROTRIP 2016!


keukenhof - Netherlands

Eiffel Tower - France

Notre Dame - France

Monaco

Fontana di Trevi - Italy

Castel Sant'Angelo - Italy

Somewhere Behind Marienplatz - Germany

Ah, can't believe i'm writing this, and yes, you are reading that title correctly. I went to Europe!

It all began when I have discussion with my mom about what-am-i-going-to-do-with-my-"arisan"-money. Europe was never on my bucket list in my short term vacation plan. I always wanted to go to Japan. Then my mom started this mind-games that makes me consider twice and my sister was also wanting me to go there (Europe), she wanted to go to Greece, and I have always wanted to go there too so a  few weeks later we were skype-ing to plan our trip.

A few tips for those of you planning for a trip to Europe:

1. Do your research, find out about the Visa, how much you need to pay, which country you're applying your Visa to, how much money you need to prepare and all that shit. I would  recommend this page for guidance.
2. Prepare your money. It doesn't have to be unbelievable amount of money transferred to your bank account in a short period of time. They just wanted to know if you are able to live there according to your plan.
3. Do not buy your plane tickets yet! Do it after you got the Visa. I mean, if shit happens, at least you won't lose your airplane ticket (and it's not cheap guys)
4. I would suggest not to take visa services. It's not that hard and you are basically paying extra for nothing. Those visa services cannot replace you for your visa interview.  You still have to attend it yourself so..what's the point?
5. Don't panic! during your visa interview the interviewer might look and sound intimidating but that's their job, all you need to do is be calm and collected, answer their questions straight away without any hesitant. When I got interviewed it probably took 5-10 mins and he only asks when I'll be leaving and be back and what I'm going there for.
6. Airplane tickets can be really expensive and I would suggest to take the fastest route possible. Go check this website so you can get the exact same flight with various prices and make sure all the tax and all that shit is included in the price. Go for the midnight flights because I have proven that this will help you avoid jet lag.
7. Have fun! this is your vacation anyway, enjoy it, you deserve it!

Will post each country experience with no particular order. Stay tuned!
March 25, 2013

Things I Learned from Korea

1. There's always some absurd use of english for cafe/ restaurant names. I saw a coffee shop named "Standing Coffee" and a restaurant named "Slow Garden". What was that supposed to mean?

2. Korean people (both men and women) are so stylish, their skin are flawless and skinny, like no joke! This explains why there's tons of skin care shops in Korea.

3. Based on what i see, when it's working time, there's almost no one outside the building. Nothing like Jakarta where random people are hanging out around the streets.

4. I don't know what happened between Koreans and Chinese in the past, but every time i ask for bargain, they always said "This is made in Korea, NOT China!" and they can't give any discount.

5. Korea should be nominated as the capital of Romance City! people are like literally dating and being lovey- dovey with their bf/ gf everywhere.  For those who are single, close your eyes, you'll probably getting a heartache. 

6. I don't know much why Koreans are not ashamed to fight in public. I've seen couples are getting into a fight, like literally.. i was like shocked when i saw it. But apparently people around me wasn't. I also seen ahjummas are fighting (not physically) but they screams at each other. When i asked my friend about it, she said it's a common thing. They even sometimes kissing in public.

March 19, 2013

Fly to Seoul D4

Day 4! the last day :(

Sadly, my trip ends, since tomorrow morning we should be at Incheon Airport at 9. Sucks.

We didn't have early schedule today (which i really regret) we start off around 11. The first stop is the Korean National Museum. It is located between Gyeongbokgung Palace, and the "Blue House" which is the president house.


Accidentally met these kindergarten or (elementary?) kids in front of the museum. They are cute and adorable!! 


These are pretty much inside of the museum. Korean do love their country I guess because I've seen a lot about political history in here. Meet Lee Myung- Bak. Korea's 17th president. I heard he'll be off- duty soon since the new president was elected. and yes, for the first time in history, it's a woman!




Why was Princess Hours or Full House picture didn't make it in here??!! 7 out of 10 people told me their first Korean drama was one of those.


This is located in front of Gyeongbokgung Palace. I didn't get any chance to visit this place since it's freezing outside. It's around -12C that day. There is "King Seojong" statue at the back. He is the one who created 'Hangeul' (Korean script). After we're done with the museum, we're going for lunch. Yay! we went to this samgyetang restaurant again, but this time, it was a specialty restaurant. Rumor has it this was one of former Korean President's favorite place!. And indeed! this is the best! that samgyetang with pumpkin seeds gave special crunch to it.  



With warm tummy, we continue our journey to Gyeongbokgung Palace. It was the first time my ear hurts while i was outside. It was extreme weather and i don't have anything to cover my ear, so I just running from one place to another and trying to find a building. My body doesn't feel cold at all, it's just my ears that hurts and annoyed my trip. It was freaking freezing and i found that Gyeongbokgung was an open space! great! The thing i learned about "old korea" was... beautiful. especially their traditional clothes, hanbok. Everything has it's meaning and korean government take tourism seriously.




So after we're done wandering around at this palace, we went to Namdaemun Market. Shopping time! woohoo!
Went to buy chocolates, cookies and other stuff for souvenirs. It was around 5pm that and it's getting freezing like... i don't even know how to say it. I have no choice but to buy an ear muff since we are going to Namsan Tower after this. There's no way i will survive without an ear muff. For those who wanted to buy traditional souvenirs, you better buy it at Namdaemun because it's a lot cheaper than Insadong. The exact same thing for less! yes, i felt guilty because of this. You can find pretty much anything in here from food, fashion, and other stuff.

And when it can't go any worse, my battery went low, so that's the reason why i can't give any picture at Namdaemun. I'm saving it for Namsan.


We should get on this cable car first to get to the tower. And i found out there's also a pedestrian (yes, you read that right) road for those who want to climb to the tower. It cost you 8000 won for round trip ticket.




I actually didn't recommend to go inside the tower because there's nothing special in it. You have to spend another 7000 won to go to the observatory for unclear sight- seeing, and you should buy another ticket if you wanted to see the Teddy Bear Museum. For more information click here.
After we're done seeing unclear things, (although it's beautiful at night seeing the entire Seoul) we had our dinner. We ate grilled bulgogi. I think it was another version of bulgogi but i can't remember what it was called. We still wanted some shopping so we went to Doota Shopping Mall at Dongdaemun. 
FYI, Doota is a 24 hours mall. There's another 24 hours mall around Dongdaemun shopping area as well. We had our late shopping at around 11pm while we have to be ready at 7am the next day. LOL!

The fun thing was some shops gave tax refund and we can get the refund at the airport. yay! but i think Myeong-dong shop prices are lower than Doota's. So... choose wisely. Oh! Doota only sells local brand and local designers clothing.

So, i guess that's it. So long Korea! i hope i can give a visit at another season to truly enjoy the country.

March 1, 2013

Fly to Seoul D3

Day 3 is here! whoop whoop!

No, we don't have tight schedule today so we start off at 11. What did i do before 11? well.. i might have a little early shopping at Zara. There's no way you are not visit the store since it's 2 buildings away from my hotel and ended up getting this. The only thing that made me a bit annoyed is the size chart in korea. WHY DO KOREANS ARE SMALL?? i'm a medium size or even small in Indonesia, but in korea i always fit to large? so unfair!
OH! i also forgot, during my visit, korea was having KOREA GREAT SALE! at literally every store.


I was visiting Dasan Company, the 2nd largest IT supplier company in Korea. I love the office area, everything looks clean, and new.


After done with the meeting, we're going back to the city. Yes, this office area wasn't at Gangnam. I was hoping we can see the Chonggyechon stream but apparently we're not. The traffic also quite bad since it's around 5 pm.


After wandering around for quite sometime, we ended up at Namsangol Hanok Village, located in Namsan. We arrived at around 6 pm and it's FREEZIING! even the stream was frozen. We can't see anything clear but overall it was traditional korean house in 1 area. Most of the houses were scattered aroud korea back then, but then it was moved into this village so it can be preserved for tourism. 


Since it's getting cold, (thank god cars have heater!) we decided to go back to Myeong-Dong to have dinner. And today we had Jjigae! i've been longing to try this dish because it looks really delicious, and indeed, they're so good especially during winter. I tried seafood jjigae. 


After we're done eating, we had free time! and of course, me and my mom decided to go shopping around Myeong-Dong! woohoo! the shopping area was really big like literally. first stop, Noon shopping mall. Went to H&M, craving for so much stuff but ended up buying nothing since I can't decide what i wanted to buy. I was thrilled when i found FUBU! and of course there's T.O.P picture in a cardboard, but i was too embarrassed to take pictures there. The absurd thing was my mom and i said we should buy some skin care product but apparently the only thing we bought was a nail clipper from ARITAUM! i didn't know what was on our mind that day and i totally regret it.
And the most stupid thing me and my mom totally regret was the fact that we didn't visit the LOTTE Department Store which located right across our hotel, which we always see everyday!

So that's the recap of Day 3! see you on D4! annyeong!
February 18, 2013

Fly to Seoul D2

Day 2! woohoo! i survived the cold.

We had so many places to visit this day. First stop, U-City in Incheon. This superb "future city" has everything for everyone. This city was supposed to be an interconnected city for economic, trades, offices, residences (which in this case means apartments), and entertainment area and will be done by 2020. 






yesss! there's 5D theater in this building. Altough they only playing the "advertisement" movie about the prospect of this city, i still feel amused, this proved that they doing marketing to the next level.

Then we went to.. i didn't know what it was called but i guess is a museum about Incheon bridge. And did you know? the Asian Games 2014 will be held in Incheon?





Why all coffee shops in Korea has to be this cute? makes me wanted to live here! ooohhh *faint*

After finished eating in that super cute coffee shop, we went to TS, a company that inspect the safety for every vehicle, the fun part starts after visiting TS.. we went to Insadong. This area is famous for it's art shops, especially traditional korean art. Unfortunately wet snow starts to fall that evening :( the roads are mainly still covered in snow so the wet snow made it more slippery.

Apparently, i accidentally went to this place, i forgot what it was called since i can't read hangeul. This place was used in the Seoul Song video clip where there's donghae and sooyoung, also ryeowook? i guess. (Fan- mode ON!) 


I was really thrilled since Seoul Song was the first song that made me hooked with K-Pop. I was standing exactly like the clip i captured there, and that's why i remembered it.


Meet Ratih! the tour guide/ translator for our trip in Seoul, and yes, she's Indonesian. I was also trying this ddung cake. Ddung means "poop" in Korean. Basically it was a soft cake, made by order with read bean paste filling and it was really delicious! The perfect thing to munch on a cold day. I was also tried hotteok, i didn't know what it's exactly made of but it's basically a batter, fried with something sweet almost like sugar in it. 
Then we went souvenir shopping here, and yes, everything was packed nicely. how can't you resist them?

And we had our dinner in here too! a big dinner. We had bulgogi, seafood cooked in gochujang, seafood cooked in a pot, another japchae, fried fish, and makgeolli (korean rice wine) that tasted exactly like "tape" in Indonesia.


That's it i guess for our trip that day. super exhausting yet exiting. See you on D3!
February 12, 2013

Fly to Seoul D1

So, on Feb 4-8 i had a business trip to SEOUL! this is definitely my biggest lifetime wish. I've been longing to visit south korea because well, ehm, my obsession with k-pop and stuff :p but i really interested with the country as well, whether its culture, food, technology and their fashion. This is definitely a true blessing to start 2013. Alhamdulilah, i still can't believe my 2 biggest lifetime wish had been achived which are visiting South Korea and watching BIGBANG concert :)

To start off, i was aware that it's still winter in South Korea, but i was taking it too easy. i just prepared a coat, 2 pair of socks, 2 shawls, and a pair of winter legging for my winter gear, but boy i'm wrong! I was landed on a snowy runway! according to my last research, its not going to be snowing anytime soon when i get there, but that was definitely wrong and yes it's freezing when i get off the plane. By the way, Incheon airport is definitely DAEBAK! so cool with all their facilities and not to mention, how HUGE it is. By the way, back to the topic. I just wore a tanktop, shirt and a pair of jegging, i think it's about -2 degrees on that day. Since it's my first time having a trip on winter, i was shocked. I couldn't handle the wind.

First stop, of course hotel. We stayed at Ibis Myeong-Dong which happens to be in the middle of shopping area (read: Lotte Department Store, tons of skin care shops, and international clothing brand like Zara, H&M and Forever 21). Then off for lunch, we went to a chicken restaurant around our hotel, and boom! look where i went to..




YES! BIGBANG visited this restaurant before. By the way, I was eating samgyetang (a whole chicken soup filled with rice and cooked with herbs). With warm tummies, we start our schedule by visiting Samsung SDS followed by visiting Yonsei University which many says that this is the best private college in South Korea, and indeed! it's not only HUGE (this means literally huge) but also full of technology.



Look closely! those are the facilities on their library..awesome! by the way, i ended my first day by wandering around Myeong-Dong area (shopping area) with freezing hand. 


I ended up buying a pair of wool gloves (which in this case doesn't make any difference at all) and sweater from SPAO.


We had our dinner at this specialty restaurant (still in Myeong-Dong) that serves traditional korean food and we tried bibimbab (rice with mixed vegetables) and Japchae (stir-fried vermicelli noodle mixed with vegetables and mushroom). I guess korea loves mushroom and bean sprout because they're everywhere on the dish and banchan.


 In my experience on korean food, this particular dish is my only NO! i really can't eat something with that raw gochujang (hot pepper paste) tangy smell. Other than bibimbab, i can eat all korean food that cooked with gochujang, including kimchi.

I think those are the recaps from my first day. See you on other D2, D3, and D4 diary post :)

Fly to Seoul


 

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